Pediatrics Video Abstract: Delivery Room Management of Meconium-Stained Newborns and Respiratory Support

REFERENCE: Arpitha ChiruvoluKimberly K. MiklisElena ChenBarbara PetreySujata Desai. Delivery Room Management of Meconium-Stained Newborns and Respiratory Support. 

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Recently, the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) recommended against routine endotracheal suctioning of meconium-stained nonvigorous newborns but suggested resuscitation with positive pressure ventilation. Our purpose is to study the effects of this change in management.

METHODS: In this multicenter cohort study, we compare 130 nonvigorous newborns born during the retrospective 1-year period before the implementation of new NRP guidelines (October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016) to 101 infants born during the 1-year prospective period after implementation (October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017).

RESULTS: Endotracheal suctioning was performed predominantly in the retrospective group compared with the prospective group (70% vs 2%), indicating the change in practice. A significantly higher proportion of newborns were admitted to the NICU for respiratory issues in the prospective group compared with the retrospective group (40% vs 22%) with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.2 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2–3.9). Similarly, a significantly higher proportion of infants needed oxygen therapy (37% vs 19%) with an OR of 2.5 (95% CI: 1.2–4.5), mechanical ventilation (19% vs 9%) with an OR of 2.6 (95% CI: 1.1–5.8), and surfactant therapy (10% vs 2%) with an OR of 5.8 (95% CI: 1.5–21.8). There were no differences in the incidence of other outcomes, including meconium aspiration syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS: The recent NRP guideline change was not associated with an increased incidence of meconium aspiration syndrome but was associated with an increased incidence of NICU admissions for respiratory issues. Also, the need for mechanical ventilation, oxygen, and surfactant therapy increased.